A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

2014 Honda CTX700 & CTX700N Coming Soon

02/08/2013 @ 11:26 am, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

2014 Honda CTX700 & CTX700N Coming Soon 2014 Honda CTX700 635x396

Continuing to blur the lines between established motorcycle segments, Honda has teased out another pair of unique motorcycles, which will formally go-down as 2014 model year machines. Available in Spring 2013. The 2014 Honda CTX700 & 2014 Honda CTX700N use the same 670cc parallel-twin engine found in the NC700 series, which was an engine designed to be a sensible and practical urban power plant for city bikers.

Building something that looks the cross between a street-standard and a cruiser, Honda is offering ABS brakes and an automatic dual-clutch transmission (DCT) as an available $1,000 option. The hope is clearly that the Honda CTX700N & Honda CTX700 will be an approachable and affordable motorcycle for new motorcyclists, and with prices at $6,999 & $7,799 respectively ($7,999 & $8,799 with DCT and ABS), Honda seems to have achieved that goal.

If you take a close look at the CTX700N and its fairing-less design, you can see many of Honda’s other design elements shining through from other machines. Meanwhile, the faired CTX700 takes cues from its bagger-tourer cousin, the Honda Gold Wing F6B, albeit in a smaller and lighter form-factor.

Honda is clearly trying to channel a “big bike” look and feel into these relative small (28.3″ seat height) motorcycles, and it will be interesting to see the market response in regards to these machines. It is hard to tell if Honda’s crossover strategy is paying off at the dealerships, but the Japanese brand continues to push the agenda each model year, so something must be working.

2014 Honda CTX700 & CTX700N Coming Soon 2014 Honda CTX700N 635x396

Source: Honda America


  1. Heatsoak says:

    Didn’t Honda learn it’s lesson the first time they created the DN-01?

  2. AK says:

    I kinda like CTX700N, but then again I am not planning to buy something like this. DN-01 was an over-priced experiment which fail miserably. Something like this could workout for new/women riders.

  3. Webbiker says:

    I kinda like the idea of boldly trying new things, but Honda seems to have the least talented designers in the business. I can’t think of another company that could come out with something THAT ugly and lame.

  4. Stephen says:

    Affordable Diavel, don’t you think? Do you think marketing can convince the consumer it is a cruiser like Ducati did?

    Ride Free

  5. Afletra says:

    This is the reason (key) why Honda survive in two wheels business and even become one of the biggest in the world LOL

  6. ProudAmerican says:

    When my CB1100 gets here next month, I’m never going to let go of it.

    Sometimes Honda hits a homerun. Other times I just scratch my head in disbelief.

  7. TexusTim says:

    ok..honda can you please develope bikes we really want and like…I mean you spend all this time on bikes like this and have done nothing to the 600 and 1000 except minor body work abs and BPF…I want a new litre bike now…..and not for 15 grand either damit

  8. RandyS says:

    I don’t think that this bike is for existing motorcyclists. I think that Honda looked at the success that Harley has had selling its “‘Dark” series to hipsters
    and they said “we want some of that.”

    This bike also bears a striking resemblance to both the Harley V-Rod
    and to the Ducati Diavel
    Unfortunately, at least to my eyes, I can’t say that that’s a good thing.

  9. Larry Hannemann says:

    My first reaction was, it’s a Diavel’s baby brother. My second reaction was, Duh!

  10. Richard Gozinya says:

    The unfaired one looks better, but they both need to slim down in the tail, it’s just way too bulky visually back there. As for comparing it to a Diavel, I’m just not seeing it. The Diavel is an over the top muscle bike, whereas this is designed to be practical accessible, and dull.

  11. 76 says:

    utter waste of time & money, good job honda

  12. Anvil says:

    You know what I think we have here? Honda’s latest attempt to build a Cub for the 21st century. Something that will tempt more people into motorcycling and bring novice riders to the brand. Something unintimidating, friendly, easy to ride, practical and economical. I give them credit for that but…

    The styling, while unfortunate, is intentional. It’s supposed to look modern and retro all at once and, I would argue, a bit scooter-like (the DN01 certainly went too far and was even more confused) because scooters don’t scare the hell out of timid non-riders like sport bikes or giant cruisers do.

    What I’m saying is that these things ain’t meant for us. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the people they’re meant for actually exist, or at least not in big enough numbers to make these things a success. This ain’t the ’60s, if you haven’t noticed. People are far more safety obsessed today and most would much rather sit in the back of a cab driven by a lunatic than have to dice in traffic with one. Anything on two wheels is just not on the radar for most.

    Who knows? I’m sure they’ll sell a few, but I don’t know where Honda thinks it’ll find an army of “near-riders,” all waiting to be convinced by a smiling 500-lb., auto-trannied jelly bean.

    To me, you’re either a rider or you’re not. And the very idea of motorcycles being a bit dangerous is one of the things that makes you one.

    I think there’s more potential in getting some of these hipsters to stay with riding after the fad runs its course.

  13. JoeD says:

    The local dealer parking lot is a desert on any given day. This is one example of why. Despite increased sales to women, that demographic mostly prefer to ride the pillion and hopefully the metrosexuals will stay on the Metro.

  14. paulus - Thailand says:

    It does not matter what UK, US or Europe thinks about these bikes.
    These are for the millions of developing country riders that one day will be moving up from 110-150cc scooter into middle sized bikes. Budget bigger rides for developing nations.

    These riders are familiar with scooters and there is not the stigma of scooters being lesser rides.

    It also costs no more to sell a few units into developed nations (usually at higher prices).

  15. BBQdog says:

    Why doesn’t Honda hire an italian designer ?? There bikes are always so pig ulgy that I wander who is buying them.

  16. Paul McMenamin says:

    Good point about developing markets (such as India) and areas where there are very tough displacement limits on operator licenses. That said, I think this will be a sales disaster in the USA. Taking a very good 700cc “standard” and then outfitting it with forward foot controls and a midget-friendly seat on it is just a dumb idea. This is like a design lesson in how to screw up a good design. I see only one buyer group for this in the USA — women under 5’4″ of the tats and leather persuasion. How big is the stumpy Ds on
    Bs demographic?

  17. Anvil says:

    I don’t completely agree about the CTX being wholly for developing markets, although I’m sure they’re very important in the product plan.

    Honda has been trying to come up with a product that gets more people on to two wheels–no matter where they are. Women are certainly a prime target. I find that smart and admirable but I don’t necessarily agree with the insight, or the interpretation of the insight, that led them here.

    No doubt, the NC700 and this thing are worlds better than the DN-01; they’re still motorcycles while providing some of the ease and convenience of a scooter–and they’re relatively cheap. I’m just not sure that there are a lot of people on the fence about getting on two wheels, certainly in North America and Europe. For those that are inclined to do it, I’m not sure these bikes will be the impetus to take the plunge for many of them.

  18. Franxou says:

    I don’t know what I’m looking at here, I kind of like the CTX700N but even then with its heavy tail I’m getting a heavy vibe of “this is what the shadow750 would be if it wasn’t retro” that make me prefer standard naked.
    Then the faired CTX700. My first though, with its straight exhaust and fairing bit was “with a higher screen this would be a next-gen silverwing!” Remember the Silverwing from the ’80s? The goldwing’s little brother, a lightweight tourer (and not a sport-tourer)? The NC700 engine is probably quite good at handling long rides, this might be something great if they develop it for that demographic (and if there is a market for that).
    A light-tourer and a modern cruiser, even though it doesn’t appeal the conservative motorcyclist we almost all are, given the right marketing they might have something.
    Kudos to Honda for at least trying, BMW did the same a couple years back and we ended with some great bikes like the F800 series and I fondly remember the G650X Country I wish I had bought…

  19. Brett says:

    I like them, not that I am known for having good taste or anything. They look like mini-power-cruisers. I bet they look pretty good in person as opposed to a photo on a white background. Considering V-Strom 650′s are bought as long range touring bikes I bet the CTX700 will at least get a few looks, and the N model is the better looking one, or at least more photogenic.

  20. Eric says:

    I own an NC700x and I was antisipating the NC700 coming in Honda red and hoped they would offer ABS with a manual trans, but instead they went over the top and gave us this. While it is not a bike I would want, it hits the nail square becuase of price. Every person I know has to own two cars, at least in the maried family, so the desire for a bike is a craigslist bargan that has been neglected. I bet this bike will be a hit because of high mileage low maintence, low monthly payments, and reliability Honda. Watch for a standard 700, please. But then the CB500 trio is an ace in the hole for Honda also.

  21. Singletrack says:

    Maybe the Pacific Coast PC800 was just 25 years too early.
    Honda could’ve saved a lot of development dollars and just re-released that bike.

  22. Patman says:

    I don’t get all the hate everyone is spewing over this bike, I’ve been riding for years and see no need for companies to make carbon copy Harley cruisers or stupidly big cubic inch motors for city driving. I personally would like to see more manufacturers take a break from the norm and do their own thing. I look forward to test riding one and seeing how it rides. Not everyone wants a huge cruiser or a race replica. Good job Honda for having the Balls to not copy everyone. If it rides good, I will most likely buy one.

  23. William says:

    I belong to a sizable and increasing demographic – aging motorcycle touring riders. I am in my late 60′s and age related changes have taken away some things. I can’t see not riding, but my current ride is an old GL1200 that has just gotten too big for me. I want something smaller and lighter but with good touring capability and a straight up riding position. So far I have not found anything that fits the bill.

    This could be just the ticket for those of us that need to downsize our ride but don’t want to give up too much of the comfort and carrying capacity of a full dresser. The only negative I see on this model is the tiny gas tank – 3.17 gallons? Really? What were they thinking? Well, Iin the 70′s I toured on a 750 with a 2.8 gal tank so I gues I can make do.

  24. Hamid says:

    I have been waiting for such a long time for a bike like this.
    I will be the first to buy this. Same when automatic cars where developed. How many Automatic car do you see on the roads now versus standard?
    I wonder why there are so much negative comments here.